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Posted by Elaine on September 16, 2005 at 12:29:50:

In Reply to: I don't THINK so.... posted by Deb Karimoto on September 16, 2005 at 11:35:09:

Unfortunately, community dive boats are one of the few places that many spear fishing newbies get some education on responsible spear fishing practices. In most places in the world this isn't allowed - I've been to places where you may not bring knives, gloves, spearguns, game bags, or any other thing that would help you to remove or touch anything. California is mostly unique as a major dive destination in this regard. It puts extra burdeon on the community dive boats, and their captains, to promote both law abiding and responsible behavior. The boats and the captains that do this the best are the ones that I respect the most.

As for the fishing boats, I don't know what the answer is. I have been seeing many more fishing boats on our dive sites lately, and I have noticed fewer fish on the dives. Every time I see a fishing line dropped in the Rock Quarry I cringe for the Butterfly fish that live there. Every time I see anyone fishing near Italian Gardens all I think is that sooner or later a GBSB is going to bite and if nothing else it is just another unnecessary hook that they have to carry around in their mouth. There are no other decent sport fish at Italian Gardens and the only reason people could fish there is a) ignorance or b) to want to know what it feels like to catch a GBSB.

I do strongly feel that some areas of Catalina do need absulute protection from fishing, and that the areas do need to be larger than what they are today. Recreational non consumptive divers do not wipe out fish populations, overusage does and Catalina's proximity to the Coast puts it in extreme jepordy of over fishing.

As for the commercial guys. If I see another one at Ship Rock striping the sea cucumber populating I'm likely to be on an airplane to where ever the head of fish and game sits telling him they are totally blowing it.



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